They started with 200. Then, 400. The year after, 600. Next, the number reached 1,000. Each year, when the Dancesport Team Cebu City held their free summer workshop to teach children how to ballroom-dance, they assumed the growing number would stop.
“We thought the numbers couldn’t grow higher,” said Ed Hayco, the team leader of Cebu Dancesport. “When we reached a thousand, then, a year later, 2,000 participants, we told ourselves, ‘Wow, this is big. We’ve reached full capacity.’ But then, the number grows even bigger.”
In 2008, guess how many children—some as young as five years old—have joined the sport of dancing?
Ask me to strut my feet, rock my legs, twist my hips and whirl my arms—ask me to dance—and, like I declared in a column two years back, I’d best resemble a bunch of cartoon characters: The Transformers. You see, my body is stiff, my movement rigid and my art of gracefulness is, well…… graceless.
The opposite of last Saturday. What did my eyes witness? Girls as tiny as six years old spun their weaving arms and shimmied their bellies. Boys, plenty aged 8 and 10 and 14, skipped, hopped, waltzed. One dozen, two dozen, six dozen and more of them all stepped front and back to the tune of the Cha-Cha and did the jive to “Mambo No. 5.”
Oh, Mambo No. 5. Who doesn’t know the tune? Who doesn’t, when the music plays and the words “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mambo No.5” explode off the loud speakers and the beat pulsates, “One… two… three… four… five,” who doesn’t stomp his feet and rock his head?
On the cover of the Sports Illustrated February 2 issue is one man with eyes closed. A dark blue headband wraps his forehead. His left forearm is blanketed by a giant tattoo with one word at the bottom: BEAST. The cover title? It spells it all: The Power of LeBron.
Of the thousands of articles churned about No. 23, this SI piece masterfully written by Chris Ballard is different. Why? Because it partitions LBJ literally. As if to dissect a grasshopper in Biology class to decipher why it hops, Ballard chops LeBron’s body into pieces to reveal his power. “He outweighs centers and outruns guards,” the author says. “He is getting bigger, stronger and smarter—he even sees better. To appreciate the ways in which Cavaliers star LeBron James is evolving, first you have to break him down.”
LeBronatomy 101, he calls it. Here are snippets…
Has there ever been an athlete as untiring and inexhaustible?
Finishing his semi-final against Fernando Verdasco in 5 hours, 14 minutes, he’s only allowed one day’s rest before beating Roger Federer in 4 hours, 22 minutes. In total, that’s 24 minutes shy of 10 hours of scampering for drop-shots, leaping for overheads, pouncing for volleys, swiveling from left to right for backhands…
Has there ever been a man wearing tennis shoes as unflagging and indefatigable?
While everyone, including Star Sports announcers Vijay and Allan, concluded that he’d be wearied and debilitated last Sunday—the opposite happened: the Spaniard was perky, hyper, vigorous. He was a Spanish ball of fire who, amidst the warm Melbourne air, burned and melted the cool Swiss Alps.
“It was an emotional moment, and I think this also lifts up sport, to see a great champion like Federer expressing his emotions. It shows his human side. But in these moments, when you see a rival, who is also a comrade, feeling like this, you enjoy the victory a little bit less.”
Rafa on Roger’s post-match pool of tears
Bobby Aboitiz: Tough one, John… Federer’s control and methodical and reliable play vs. Nadal’s brilliant moments and passion… Its like Germany vs. Brazil in a soccer World Cup final… Stats would favor Federer, but my heart is with Nadal.
Steve Benitez: My pick is Roger. He has worked hard to gain back his form and confidence after going through a humbling experience of setbacks. He is now more driven to prove that, indeed, he is the best ever, and he needs this win to prove that.
Fabby Borromeo: I want Rafa to win but the odds favor Roger after Rafa’s 5-set semis match that must have drained him. I also think they should schedule both the men’s semis on Thursday cause it’s unfair to the winning player of the 2nd semis. Vamos, Rafa!
Fr. Joy Danao: I’ll go for Rafa cause he’s hungrier and he has improved his game vs. Roger; though he humbly respects the master magician and his enormous talent. Go, Rafa!